Fairies and Ancestors

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How To Get There in Seventeen Easy Steps.

  • Get born in the backwoods of Alabama in the middle of the 60s.
  • Run naked in the woods with fairies and ancestors.
  • Fall in love with other boys.
  • Sniff gas from your father’s motorcycle.
  • Go to church, pray to God often, and love Jesus with all your heart.
  • Go to college, pledge a fraternity
  • Fall in love with other boys.
  • Get addicted to the inordinately erotic scent of your own toxic masculinity.
  • Join the Marine Corps.
  • Fall in love with other boys.
  • Invade a foreign company.
  • See war, go home.
  • Tell 5 million people you fall in love with boys.
  • Run naked in the woods with fairies and ancestors.
  • Find others like you.
  • Write with them.
  • Fix the world.

 

I’m sitting across my kitchen table, the table on which I have written all but one of my plays, from my Trump-supporting Republican Marine buddy and this morning I was chasing Republican members of Congress down the marbled halls of the Capitol. My life makes no sense. Or maybe it finally makes a whole lot of sense. I don’t want to throw my brother away because his experience in life up to this point has caused him to believe differently than me, even if I clearly believe so vehemently as I do that I would put my life mostly on hold to run back and forth to Washington DC trying to do my part to end the Presidency of his hero. Over the couple years of our friendship we have come to points where we were screaming at other and so angry we were both crying; he’s as big a dude as me and when we both go full-bore Marine Corps nobody else wants to be in the room. But somehow our friendship has survived. I know I’ve helped him move forward and think about things in some different way and he’s done that for me.
It is highly unlikely that I’m right about every single issue. It would behoove me to remember that when entering any debate no matter how confident I feel on the subject matter. My friends on the Far Left absolutely hate Pete Buttigieg. “He’s a Republican,” they say and they hate Republicans. To me, he seems to be the lone voice of reconciliation among the pack. He often talks about the first day after the Trump presidency ends and it will, mercifully, one day end. One that faithful day you know what? We will still be living here on this big island with all these people who supported him. I mean it’s not like they’re all going to peace-out to those Wypipo Northern European countries of their ancestors. So we all have to manage somehow to live with one another and if that coexistence is to be pleasant at all we have to try to know each other so that is why I’m sitting here across from my brother enjoying some Trombone Shorty and Coca-Cola, his face lit from whatever Breitbart Nazi propaganda spraying from the screen of his laptop and me writing the blog, my love letter to the people kind, crazy, or curious enough to keep up with my madness. In some ways our friendship is what makes me think that ultimately, on the other side of it all, we will have learned more about ourselves and our country and we will draw closer together as a nation. And trust me, I know how difficult it is to imagine how we might get to that place from where we are now but we’ve done it before. Many times. I hope 620,000 of us don’t have to die this time around.
For now, their ignorance is in danger of destroying the Republic and that ain’t hyperbole so while I may be sitting here playing footsie under the table with my (very straight) buddy, this morning I was inside the castle walls trying to check-mate his king.
Two hours after I landed home in The Big Easy I was sitting in a Warrior Writers meeting. Warrior Writers is a group of military veterans, active duty servicemembers, and allies that focuses on building community and living in a healthier relationship to our experience. And while I am very political, Warrior Writers is decidedly not and I’m super interested in helping veterans who fervently disagree with my politics express their heart and mind in the absolute best way they can.

I’ll share with you the second of the two writing prompts from tonight’s meeting in hopes that you will use it to put pen to paper yourself and then I’ll close with what I wrote in response to the prompt.

Prompt: (based on the script for the movie Armageddon) You and a few other volunteers are about to board a spaceship loaded with nukes to intercept the asteroid barreling toward Earth. It is a sure suicide mission but you and this courageous band will actually be saving humanity.
Think of a child you know and love between birth and age twenty.
For the next ten minutes (set a timer and don’t go over) and only with this pen and paper (or laptop) say everything you want to say to that child, the wisdom of your life experiences, your hopes for them, whatever flows, let it go. What comes out might surprise you.
Here’s mine:

Max,

I did some but I didn’t do enough. I tried to stay in your life but not enough. I shared with you things that I thought would help you in life but not enough because I was afraid. Although you nor your mother has ever given me any indication that I encroached too far, I was always afraid that I would, that your mom would somehow feel like I was trying to usurp her in some way and again I’ll say that this is on me because neither of you ever said that to me.
Tell people to fuck off more often.

Don’t let money rule your life but please for heaven’s sake make sure that you have enough not to live a life of financial stress like I have.
If you have to chose between poverty and sacrificing your morals, chose poverty.

Have sex with whomever you want to if they’re down for it. Let sex be a spiritual journey for you and not a drug.
Most mean people are scared.

When people hurt you in is probably because they were scared. You get to chose whether to hurt them back or help them, if you can, not to be so afraid. That way they are less likely to hurt you or others. Sometimes, you simply have to walk away.

Focus on your similarities with people rather than your differences. Trust me, you’ll find that there is much more that could unite you with someone you call an enemy than could separate you.

Quarrel less, love more.

When you cut, cut clean. Spiritual Warriors always cut clean and the real battle of the spiritual warrior is always, always with the self.

I may not have sired you but I couldn’t be prouder of you if you were my own son. Over the many, many times you’ve been mistaken for my biological child over these many years, I have loved it every single time.

 

 


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